FAMOUS DANSEUSE TEACHES NUANCES OF BHARATNATYAM TO HALLMARKITES
NewZNew (Panchkula) : Suchitra Mitra, a renowned & accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer has been teaching dance for the last 30 years, both as a practitioner and as a dance educationist. She has performed across India and abroad. The immaculate danseuse brought an extensive range of high quality cultural experiences for children of Hallmark Public School, Panchkula, when she taught finer points of one of India’s richest classical dance styles from ancient times—‘Bharatnatyam’ to students most of whom experienced the dance form for the first time.
Yuvraj Singla, A student said, “I had the feeling that classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam were not meant for boys but we were told that the genesis of these dances is from ‘Nataraja’ Lord of dances — who is a male. We learnt that by training in this ancient dance form we become more disciplined and gain perseverance, as many a times we have to keep body in one posture for a long period of time.” Rashmi, another student said, “We did not just learn finer aspects & steps of Bharatnatyam from a stalwart but also got to know about our age old Guru Shishya Parampara. The importance of obeying our teachers, the sacrosanct bond between pupil and teacher etc.”
Said Ms. Kavita Wadhwa, Principal, Hallmark Public School, “Children today have drifted away from the age old tradition and culture of India. There has been an onslaught of Western dance forms which has pushed back beautiful & graceful dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Kathakali. We wanted our students to gain insights into ‘Bharatnatyam’ and so Suchitra Mitra – who is a famous expert dancer & educator of Bharatnatyam, was invited to take a workshop with the students. Not just Bharatnatyam but the intricacies of make-up were also shared with students. Children learnt the art of body language – expressing them-selves without speaking.”
Suchitra is a star pupil of Kalakshetra, Chennai where she received training from the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale. So it is not hard to guess that the students gained a lot from the workshop held at the school’s premises. Suchitra worked on a very creative ensemble with the students. The students were taught steps in which they chiseled out sculptures by displaying gentle movements, it was students only who posed as sculptures. The showcase created a scene where students appreciated the sculptures they had made. A flute was used to symbolise life and in the dance sequence the sculptures came alive by playing of the flute. Said Suchitra,“The students here are quite quick on the uptake & very responsive. ‘Bharatnatyam’ makes one aware of the entire body’s movements. A practitioner of this dance has very good brain – body coordination and there is no inertia in such a person. Classical dance forms should be made a part of school curriculum because of these advantages.”
Suchitra has also received personal training from big wigs like Padma Bhushan Padma Subrahmanyam and Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Said Mr Jivtesh Garg, Director, Hallmark Public School, “It gives me immense pleasure to pronounce that a stalwart like Suchitra Ji has worked with our students and that the presentation being made with Hallmarkites will form a very important part of our upcoming annual day celebration taking place on December 13 at Government Girls College Auditorium, Sec 42, Chandigarh.”
The Bharatnatyam workshop was beneficial for students as they received very useful tips from one of India’s top exponents of the dance form Suchitra Mitra.